Language Ideologies and Expectations: English Language Learners and Teachers in an ESL Class




Hatcher, Rachel

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Due to the ever-growing number of immigrants entering the United States annually, the demand for adult classes of English as a second language (ESL) has swiftly increased, prompting the need for research to determine the most successful education techniques. This study seeks to supply additional information to the limited knowledge of adult ESL education through the analysis of survey and interview results conducted at the beginning and end of the class, and observations throughout the semester of both adult students and volunteer teachers in a gratuitous ESL class in Fairfax, Virginia. Initial surveys and interviews demonstrated that both students and teachers alike were extremely motivated, but decreased final attendance showed that most had lost their drive. It appeared the students who indicated a practical need to learn English were the most satisfied and remained as class participants. Both students and teachers seemed to absorb each other’s attitudes, creating a circle of causality that influenced all class members. The results of this study offer valuable information as to how adults and volunteer teachers respond to ESL classes, and also elicit opportunities for future studies.



ESL, Immigration, Language Ideologies, Education, Spanish, Second Language Acquisition